The Haymarket Massacre, 1886
"The day will come when our silence
will be more powerful than the voices
you are throttling today."
— August Spies
from the Lucy Parsons Project
Haymarket Massacre Archive
from the Anarchy Archives
Affair Digital Collection
from the Chicago Historical Society
on Trial, from the Library of Congress
from the Wikipedia
archived collection from the Anarchist Encyclopedia
Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano comments on “A Terrible Drama” (in his Memories of Fire, Vol. II):
“The scaffold awaited them. They were five, but Lingg
got up early for death, exploding a dynamite
cap between his teeth. Fischer was seen unhurriedly humming the ‘Marseillaise.’ Parsons, the
agitator who used the word like a whip or a knife, grasps the hands of his comrades before the
guards tie his own behind his back. Engel, famous for his sharp wit, asks for port wine & then
makes them all laugh with a joke. Spies, who so often wrote about anarchism as the entrance into
life, prepares himself in silence to enter into death.
“The spectators in the orchestra of the theater fix their view on the scaffold
— a sign, a noise, the
trap door gives way, now they die, in a horrible dance, twisting in the air. [Here he quotes Martí.]
“José Martí wrote the story of the execution of the anarchists
in Chicago. The working class of the
world will bring them back to life every first of May. That was still unknown, but Martí always writes
as if he is listening for the cry of a newborn where it is least expected.”
"A time will come, when from our coffins
"Will rise a powerful voice,
"Stronger than that which you want now to choke,
"A thousand times stronger, more striking!"
These were the last words of Spies...
Hangmen, what do you gain from this?
Did you annihilate the spiritual giant?
Did you extinguish the sun?
"August Spies," by David Edelshtat (Oct 10, 1890; translated
from Yiddish by Ori Kiritz) from, Kiritz, Ori. The
Poetics of Anarchy: David Edelshtat's Revolutionary Poetry.
(Frankfurt: Lang, Europaischer Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1997.)
"Haymarket Martyrs — Origin of International Workers Day", & related videos, on YouTube
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[this page updated July 2004; links updated December 2005, July 2009]